MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake said Tuesday that he likes to describe the current relationship between former President Donald Trump and the Republican party as a “bad breakup with someone who can’t get over their toxic ex.”
Haake appeared on “Deadline: White House” and listened as host Nicolle Wallace talked about the Senate impeachment trial. She stated the Republican Party “has willingly been kidnapped” by Trump and his children and the party either agrees “with his incitement of an insurrection or they are afraid of him.” (RELATED: MSNBC’s Eugene Robinson Likens Trump Lawyers To ‘Star Wars Bar Scene’, Says ‘This Trial Has To Happen’)
“Well look, I’ve described it as a bad breakup with someone who can’t get over their toxic ex,” Haake responded. “They keep checking the former president’s social media. They’re looking over their shoulders. They’re wondering if it’s really over this time. And I think that is part of the process here.”
This prompted laughs from Wallace, who described his analogy as “perfect.”
Trump was impeached Jan. 13 after being accused of inciting the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The Senate trial is scheduled to begin the week of Feb. 8.
“If I’m Donald Trump’s defense attorneys, today’s vote in the Senate was about as good as you could hope for,” Haake continued. “It shows that the impeachment managers are going to come into the Senate in two weeks having to prove, not only that Donald Trump is guilty of what they say he’s guilty of, but that it’s even a worthwhile exercise to be there at all, so a pretty tough start for the managers today.”
17 Republicans would have to vote with every Democrat in order to reach the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump. There was a vote Tuesday over a question on whether the trial should proceed given that Trump is no longer in office. The tally was 55-45 in favor of proceeding, with 5 Republicans voting with the majority. This points to the difficulty that the House impeachment managers could face getting to the necessary two-thirds majority.
“I think we should be clear. I talked to a couple of Republican senators after this vote. So did other members of our team up here today,” Haake said. “And even those who voted with Rand Paul on this point of order, the idea they shouldn’t be doing this, said ‘We know this will be re-litigated. We’re not sold yet.’ So this doesn’t slam the door on the impeachment manager’s case, but boy, it makes it a lot harder.”